Project Summary

Background: Diagnostic errors are the most common and deadly of medical errors. Acute-care areas, particularly emergency departments (ED), are known as high-risk sites for diagnostic errors. However, neither patient partners nor nurses have been systematically engaged in patient-centered diagnostic research to improve ED diagnosis. Building knowledge and skills in diagnostic comparative effectiveness research (D-CER) and diagnostic patient-centered outcomes research (D-PCOR) among patient partners, nurses, ED providers/physicians, and other stakeholders is essential to improve patient-centered diagnostic outcomes in the Baltimore community.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: PARTNERED (Patients Assigned to Research Teams with Nurses and ER providers to Enhance Diagnosis) is an 18-month regional initiative to engage and train stakeholders and diagnostic researchers to participate in research on acute-care diagnosis. Once trained, stakeholders will engage in ongoing diagnostic research as well as future projects.


  • Coach and train stakeholders to be effective research partners
  • Coach and train researchers to value and foster effective collaboration with stakeholders
  • Create a sustainable pool of trainee stakeholders who can mentor and develop other patient partners, nurses, and ED providers/physicians into effective research partners
  • Establish the Center for Diagnostic Excellence as a model for connecting well-trained stakeholders and researchers to improve acute-care diagnostic outcomes

Activities: Online, live/small-group exercises, and experiential learning experiences will be used. Didactics will focus on acute-care diagnostic research methods (patients, nurses, ER providers) or patient/provider engagement with diagnostic researchers. Trainees will gain experience working on ongoing diagnostic research projects. Stakeholders will contribute to project reviews. Final results of the project will be presented at a summit with stakeholder advisory board and patient partner, stakeholder, and researcher trainees.

Outcomes and Outputs:

  • Patient partners, nurses, and ED providers/physicians will be prepared to work with ED researchers to design, execute, and disseminate research on acute-care diagnosis.
  • Stronger partnerships between stakeholders and local diagnostic researchers will exist in the Baltimore community.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: A stakeholder advisory board comprised of experienced therapeutic research patient partners, patient advocates, and patient partners with personal experience with diagnostic errors has been created for this project. Members have been engaged in the writing of this proposal and will collaborate with curriculum experts to determine the curriculum and training materials used in this project. The board will lead the recruitment of other patient partners. Experiential sessions will draw the stakeholders into the material and provide opportunities to engage with actual ED diagnostic researchers on current studies.

Project Collaborators: The Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence will assist with oversight for this project as well as working with the project team to engage diagnostic researchers with patient partners, nurses, and ED providers/physicians. Preceding work from the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine will inform this project’s work. Baltimore CONNECT, the Community Research Advisory Council, and PFAC will participate on the board.

Project Information

Susan Peterson, MD
David Newman-Toker, MD, PhD; Zach Berger, MD, PhD; and Kelly Gleason, RN
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Key Dates

18 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: November 30, 2022